# A Web Server Called Ebb
Ebb aims to be a small and fast web server specifically for hosting dynamic web applications. It is not meant to be a full featured web server like Lighttpd, Apache, or Nginx. Rather it should be used in multiplicity behind a load balancer and a front-end server. It is not meant to serve static files in production.
At one level Ebb is a minimalist C library that ties together the [Mongrel state machine](mongrel.rubyforge.org/browser/tags/rel_1-0-1/ext/http11/http11_parser.rl) and [libev](software.schmorp.de/pkg/libev.html) event loop. One can use this library to drive a web application written in C. (Perhaps for embedded devices?) However, most people will be interested in the binding of this library to the Ruby programming language. The binding provides a [Rack](rack.rubyforge.org/) server interface that allows it to host Rails, Merb, or other frameworks.
A Python-WSGI binding is under development.
The Ruby binding is available as a Ruby Gem. It can be install by executing
gem install ebb
Ebb depends on having glib2 headers and libraries installed. For example, in Macintosh if one is using Darwin ports then the following should do the trick
port install glib2
Downloads are available at the [RubyForge project page](rubyforge.org/frs/?group_id=5640).
Using the executable `ebb_rails` one can start Ebb with a Rails project. Use `ebb_rails -h` to see all of the options but to start one can try
cd my_rails_project/ ebb_rails start
When using `ebb_rails` from monit, the monitrc entry might look like this:
check process myApp4000 with pidfile /home/webuser/myApp/current/tmp/ebb.4000.pid start program = "/usr/bin/ruby /usr/bin/ebb_rails start -d -e production -p 4000 -P /home/webuser/myApp/current/tmp/ebb.4000.pid -c /home/webuser/myApp/current" as uid webuser and gid webuser stop program = "/usr/bin/ruby /usr/bin/ebb_rails stop -P /home/webuser/myApp/current/tmp/ebb.4000.pid" as uid webuser and gid webuser if totalmem > 120.0 MB for 2 cycles then restart if loadavg(5min) greater than 10 for 8 cycles then restart group myApp
To use Ebb with a different framework you will have to do a small amount of hacking at the moment! :)
Because Ebb handles most of the processing in C, it is able to do work often times more efficiently than other Ruby language web servers.
Ebb-Ruby can handle threaded processing better than the other 'evented' servers. This won't be of any benefit to Rails applications because Rails places a lock around each request that wouldn't allow concurrent processing anyway. In Merb, for example, Ebb's thread handling will allow Ebb instances to handle larger loads. [More](four.livejournal.com/848525.html)
Contributions (patches, criticism, advice) are very welcome! Please send all to to [the mailing list](groups.google.com/group/ebbebb).
The source code is hosted [github](github.com/ry/ebb/tree/master). It can be retrieved by executing
git clone git://github.com/ry/ebb.git
Here are some features that I would like to add:
HTTP 1.1 Expect/Continue (RFC 2616, sections 8.2.3 and 10.1.1)
A parser for multipart/form-data (only for optimization - this functionality is currently handled at the framework level)
## (The MIT) License
Copyright © 2008 [Ry Dahl](tinyclouds.org) (ry at tiny clouds dot org)
<div id=“license”> Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the “Software”), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED “AS IS”, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE. </div>